In America the restoration of the biodiesel blending credit has started to breathe life back into the bio-diesel business world. In addition to the elevated cost of petroleum based fuels this is a perfect storm for biofuels sector. As of the writing of this information the cost of used oils for biodiesel biofuel production is:
White Grease (cnt/lb) 50.98
Yellow Grease (cnt/lb) 45.00
Tallow (cnt/lb) 49.50
Soybean Oil (cnt/lb) 55.52
These prices reveal the price per pound in cents. To get the true price per gallon you need to multiply the cents price by the number of pounds within a gallon.With the ascending price of feedstock oil exactly what can you do as a bio-diesel company to control cost? The answer is simple, cultivate your own biodiesel feedstock. It’s well known Soybean Oil, Corn Oil & Canola Oil are common food crops and compete for space on our dinner tables, however are you aware there is another option? Camelina Oil. So what is Camelina you ask?
Camelina has long been produced in European countries since ancient times for cooking oil. It grows fastest in a
cool, arid environment and is also well-suited to a small grains rotation crop. The plant will grow 1-3 ft tall and produces pale green leaves and very small plant seeds. Camelina is cold temperature and drought resistant, needs minimal fertilizer and can be produced with regular equipment. It can be broadcast or drilled in late fall, winter or spring, and straight combined in early July. Camelina has a 90-day growth pattern and current crop yields vary from 500 to 3,000 pounds/acre.
The two best planting methods used are broadcast seeding and direct drilling. Sowing rate with each method is 5 lbs seed/acre. Camelina is an oilseed crop in a number of European countries (Austria, France, United Kingdom,
Germany, Ireland, Poland, and the USSR) and a feedstock for biodiesel production. Pure Camelina is cold-pressed oil produced from Camelina Sativa seeds. It is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids you can find.
Eventhough Camelina oil has been used for thousands of years, it’s just now getting the notice it is worthy of for its usage as a bio-diesel oil resource. It is also a safer source of omega 3 than fish oils. (Fish oils are at risk of mercury contamination). Pure Camelina oil is better than fish oil.
Camelina is an under-utilized crop and it creates market alternatives for the demanding
Biodiesel marketplace. The technique of oil extraction is cold pressing. The additional benefit of using
Camelina oil is it’s similarity to soy bean oil for cold flow attributes, which is an
important aspect for cold weather biofuel manufacturers. The seeds contain 29-45% oil and 23-
40% protein and are loaded with omega 3.
Traditional high, water-use crops such as cotton, corn and wheat demand approximately 30
inches of rain fall or more to generatte acceptable yields. Camelina is known as a low- water use
alternative crop with numerous marketing opportunities. Therefore the very next time you attend a board
meeting to discuss the rising price of biodiesel feedstock oil, recommend farming of Camelina, your board members and shareholders will likely thank you for it.